Monday, January 31, 2011

New breastfeeding laws in progress!

Here is an article about breastfeeding and the laws that may be passed to help working moms!!! This is very exciting! Hopefully it will encourage more moms to breastfeed!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Will my dreams come true?

Before leaving MSU, i dreamed of participating in the PeaceCorps! AmeriCorps came first and found my passion to become a nurse-midwife through the services that i have been providing my mothers! I had a thought, what if i could collaborate with someone doing PeaceCorps working with pregnant women and go help out for a month or so as part of my service. I could do a few mommy & me classes, teach the importance of breastfeeding, and child development. I would be learning so much more about poverty, struggle, joy, and be able to share my knowledge and experiences with my moms here. How amazing would that be to be able to do that! I could take what i learned from that site and bring it back to mine! The help that i might be able to give those moms would be simply... heart filling. Then, i come to the realization that it costs money to get there, money that i don't have. I can dream right!?!? Maybe one of these days in the far future, i will be able to take my knowledge and fill that dream of living in a different country in need and help those mothers give their babies the best life!  I would feel as if i could conquer the world!

Friday, January 21, 2011

AmeriCorps Member Celebration Event!

This year, the member celebration event was held at the Crowne Plaza in Louisville! It was a two day event that involved all the AmeriCorps members in the state of Kentucky. There were many presenters with my favorite being at the end! He was a pastor from "Over the Rhine," one of the poorest areas in the US resting in the shadows of many fortune 500 companies in downtown Cincinnati. The area has all the social services available to them, but something isn't clicking. Damon, the pastor, talked about how he has introduced an asset based approach to helping the people in the area. He takes the gifts of the people that he may see and makes them present to the person. He doesn't look at what may be an issue like alcoholism, drugs, no parents. But looks at the strengths of the people and turns their lives around. This is exactly what we are doing in SuccessCorps. We are looking at the strengths of the moms and building upon those. When these gifts and strengths become a real thing for the moms, something changes! They fulfill that need to be needed and feel proud of their strengths and gifts.  If more people looked at the gifts in others, this world would be a different/better place!

He was also talking about how it feels better to give than to receive. I couldn't agree with this more! At times, it can be hard to step to the side and let someone else do the giving! This is something that I am going to try and work on even more! 

Along with the speakers, we had lunch, given a really nice backpack with the AmeriCorps Kentucky logo on it, and met new members! It was a good time! I enjoyed it. 

We even created a word cloud...

Here are some pictures of the event!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

90 girls or 20% of the girls are pregnant in a high school!

I found this article today. In the video it says that the school should take more responsibility in teaching the students about ways of prevention. I understand this but what about the parents? Why aren't they teaching them or providing them with the resources that they might need? I believe that the parents play the bigger role in this than teachers and the schools. What do you think?

Successful Mommy & Me meeting!

This month, 3 moms came to my class along with a fellow colleague!!! Wooooo! I was so nervous. I knew two of them and there was one new mom as well! The powerpoint went well and they loved the activity, which were the shakers. One mom even threw in her own suggestions, which was great! They were even very excited for the next meeting, which will be intro to baby sign language! Let's hope that more moms attend! I am crossing my fingers that this lady that did some sing and sign classes for Babes and Tots will come and do a class for us at the next meeting! I am waiting to hear back from her!

Monday, January 10, 2011

EKU here I come!

On Saturday, I received my acceptance into EKU for my pre req's! The first step is completed in becoming a nurse mid-wife! Here's to the next!

Also, as of right now, I would like to continue to do AmeriCorps for another year!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Something i will carry with me forever

Lately, I have been thinking about how people around me have taught me something important! It's not just the people i see everyday, but also the people that I may meet once. But, my sister, A, taught me something really important and will carry it with me forever. Growing up you learn that everyone makes mistakes, but it was hard for me to grasp the concept that people are people and they do make mistakes. I thought that everyone was perfect, especially when looking up to my parents. It doesn't necessarily make them a bad person or define who they are and but had trouble seeing the good. I always had trouble understanding how I could forgive someone that had made mistakes that might have led to hurting our family or effecting their lives. But my sister taught me that it's ok, and people can grow from their mistakes. People do make mistakes and we must forgive them. You will never forget what may have happened but you can forgive them no matter what they might have done. She gave a girl a chance who stole something from my littlest sister and denied it. After all the trouble she got into at school (because she took it to school) and the mess she caused herself and for my family, my sister still meet with her for dinner. She still wanted to try to be friends with her (it was a year or so later). This happened years ago but it has always stuck with me. I was surprised to find my sister giving her a chance to be friends again after all that she had done to my sister and our family. It was at this moment, i finally realized that you must forgive people and give them a chance to learn and grow from their mistakes. Their mistakes aren't who they are, mistakes just change people, hopefully for the better. Thanks A for teaching me this. You may have never known it, but i love that you taught me this! I will always keep your forgiveness, caring heart, and open mind, with me!

My Future at EKU!

I recently completed my application to EKU and called to check the status of it the other day.....They are currently working on this semesters admissions as of right now so I should be getting a letter by the end of the month. Should I be worried about my acceptance? I didn't think that I would need to worry, but now I am a bit worried. I understand that they are working on the apps for this semester but the semester begins next week. Could I be rejected from starting my dream? Gosh so much rides on each step....what if the roller-coaster of life decides to throw me a loop, a big loop?

This is what needs to happen:

Accepted to EKU for prereq's this fall
4 point all the classes (to make sure I am at the top of the gpas of people applying to the program)
Get into the accelerated program which is VERY competitive (20 out of 100 accepted)
Then on to midwifery school (which i am not worried about because I have so many choices)

Really, the next year determines the path I follow. If I don't get accepted where do I go next? My back up is University of Kentucky. But I really would like to attend EKU. Their accelerated nursing program is one of the top in the state. On top of all this, I have to figure out how I am going to pay for all of this....I have a plan, but yet again a lot rides on it!

There is this Nursing Scholarship Program through the US Department of Health and Human Service which would be the best thing ever! It is a scholarship program that pays for my tuition directly to the school and then provides me with a monthly stipend. In exchange, I have to work for 2 years in a facility with a critical nurse shortage. I find this ideal because 1, I would like to devote all my time to making sure I 4 point the classes, with the monthly stipend, I wouldn't have to stress about working extra to pay bills etc. I also wouldn't have to worry about adding to my student loan balance. 2, I love helping. I feel as if it would be like AmeriCorps, helping where I am really needed. I could use my education and experiences to help the facility grow and become a better place! I would feel that I was making a difference! I never want to let this feeling go. The application hasn't opened up yet, but keep your fingers crossed for when I apply....updates will follow as I apply!

This program is VERY competitive as well. Last year there was about 6,400 applicants and about 480 were selected. I am hoping that I can show them that I would be a perfect candidate and wouldn't let them down if I was selected. I feel that AmeriCorps has really prepared me for this and think that my experiences will help make me a better nurse and appreciate working in a place where there is a shortage of nurses. (Of course, i would be in midwifery school full/part time while fulfilling my 2 year commitment, i think that it would make me a better midwife) The experience of working in an area of need would be so rewarding. At times, I have thought about where I would be working and what it would be like which has been a new and upcoming facility, the best doctors, the best nurses, and the best technology. But then I think about how much of a difference I would be able to make in a place like that, not a lot. I think that I might be able to help more in a place that might be lacking these characteristics and I could use my knowledge and experience to help it become a better place. I shouldn't turn away an opportunity because it doesn't look new or have the newest technology. I can be a part of helping the place turn into an amazing facility. I would be making a difference. This is why I really think that this scholarship program would be amazing for me! It would be reinforcing my goals and ideas about places in need.

I am 23 years old and feel like I am just dipping a toe into life. Going back to school for another 5 years and starting a whole new career is daunting. I thought that I had a grasp on life and where I was going now I am following the path of becoming a nurse-midwife. Now, with so much riding on each thing/step, I'm nervous that it might not come true. But here's to trying my hardest and never giving up. I know that things will not go exactly as planned and that there will be some up and downs on my roller-coaster of life. I am a strong person and will push through the tough times, just as I have in the past! I can't wait to start yet another chapter in the story of my life!
(This picture is of a flower & bee in my mom's garden!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Beautiful Town of Charleston!

I had a great time in Charleston. We visited with his grandparents and aunts and uncles! I even did a few puzzles with his granny! It made me really appreciate the relationships I have with my grandparents and the specialness of each of them. I miss them so much. It's hard to really be away from home. Granted, I was away at MSU but still within a few hours of everyone. Now, I am anywhere from 6 to 10 hours away. It's hard growing up haha. Jesse's grandparents are about 10 years older than mine and are having trouble with their short term memory. His grandpa (or grand-daddy as he calls him) finally remembered that i was from MI and loved that for a moment remembered who I was! Like i said earlier, his granny loves doing puzzles, just as I. I helped with one on the last day of our visit sitting close to his granny. When we left I gave her a hug and she kissed me on my cheek. She remembered who I was too. It was a special visit to know that I was loved by all of Jesse's family. It was especially special to Jesse because he got to spend a good amount of time with his grandparents. He wasn't sure when he would get another chance to visit. I wouldn't have given up that time for anything else! I am so happy that i was able to go with them! Each time i go down there, the more and more i love it!

One day, I had about 3 hours of nice sun/outdoor time! It was 55 degrees and sunny one day, and had a few hours to kill. What did i do you ask, of course I went out and sat in the sun and looked out over the water! I watched the pelicans and dolphins! I even watched the tide come in! The sun felt amazing! We had to leave and the weather was going to be in the 70's owh how I would have loved to stay a few more days!

One of the days, we visited Folly Beach. Boy was it cold, but it was beautiful. We saw a lot of jelly fish, a few horseshoe crabs, conch eggs, and sponges.  We topped off the adventure she some she-crab soup. All in all, it was a great trip and can't wait to go back.

Here are some pics:

Christmas Day Festivities!

I almost forgot to include this......Christmas Day, Jesse's dad had to work on the farm so we went and helped! I got to bottle feed a few goats because their moms wouldn't let them nurse. They were so sweet. They followed me around and even let me carry them around like a baby! I even tried to milk a momma goat! After feeding the goats, I went and bottle feed two baby cows. They were just darling, but quite slobbery. Then, I helped Mr. G finish feeding the show cattle while jesse went and fed the goats in the pasture. It was great to be outdoors around the animals and learning something new! I even held a little piggy! After we were done on the farm, I went with jesse duck hunting. We hiked up to a little pond and saw nothing and then we drove around to look at the other ponds. As we passed one of the ponds, i saw what seemed to be sticks poking out of the water and didn't say anything. When we went back by, i asked jesse to look and they weren't sticks they were indeed ducks. Jesse hopped out of the jeep and made his way down to the ducks while i sat in the car. He didn't want me to scare them. I sat there for awhile, watched a few ducks land and then a few minutes later......pow powwwww. Up comes Jesse, "I got one!" It was almost completely dark by now and the duck was in the middle of the pond. He said that we had to go get the canoe. The canoe was huge and there way no way that it would fit in my jeep. So, me and my clever inventions (thanks papa!) had the idea of taking a bucket attaching a rope and throwing it out in the pond and dragging in the duck. When we got back to the pond, it was dark. We walked/hiked around the pond to where there was a stream, no sign of the duck. We had parked the jeep far away out of the road and shined the brights on the pond. But they didn't help that much because of the distance. After not being able to find it, i hustled back to the jeep and drove it closer and parked it perpendicular to the road with the brights shining. I asked jesse to check and see if he could see it now? He could see it in the middle of the pond. His dad and him went over to try and throw the bucket but it was still too far away. Then a breeze came in and the duck started drifting to them. He successfully got the duck. We took it back and he cleaned the duck while i sat there and watched. I had gotten him a knife for Christmas and got to use it for the first time! He said it was perfect! Now there is a duck breast sitting in the freezer.....what a great way to spend Christmas! I loved every moment of it!

Christmas Break......"boys don't decorate cookies!"

This Christmas break I spent it with Jesse's family! We spent Christmas eve and Christmas day at their house and then we headed to SC to visit his extended family! Jesse and I made maple cupcakes with maple frosting the night before which were different, but very tasty! On Christmas Day at his house, I had made dough for sugar cookies and baked them. Everyone joined in and helped frost and decorate the cookies! Thankfully, Mrs. G didn't mind that I wreaked havoc on her dining room table with flour and dough....My first from scratch Christmas cookies turned out ok. They could have been better. Next time, I am going to use a different recipe. With time, they will get better! Here's to next years cookies!

Practice Mommy & Me in Berea!

I was asked by the AmeriCorps member in Berea to come and visit and do an activity with the Berea moms! I was so happy to hear that they wanted me to come back and talk with them again! They had met me at the teen conference and couldn't wait to go back. What I did was practice for my next mommy & me! I used the same powerpoint and craft! They loved it and it gave me a chance to make it better! One of the girls actually stayed longer because she was enjoying it so much! It was a great way to ease my nervousness for the actual mommy & me next week! Here is a picture of what we/they created!